Unesco threat on Reef a beat up


The threat by UNESCO to declare the Great Barrier Reef a World Heritage site in danger is the direct result of environmental lobbyist pressure, rather than science.

Senator Ian Macdonald, Opposition spokesman for Northern and Remote Australia, said that the recent Caring for our Country report clearly showed the improvement in agricultural management on lands adjacent to the Great Barrier Reef waters, and this improvement was set to continue with the announcement of its extension to 2018.

Unfortunately UNESCO appears to have succumbed to the pressure of international lobbyists to declare the Reef endangered as part of an ongoing global push to destroy the Australian economy, Senator Macdonald said.

This is the same pressure which spooked an already skittish and unstable Gillard government to close off the Coral Sea to fishing, a decision based on nothing but populism with no science to back it up.

Claims that overfishing was a threat to the reef and therefore had to be stopped would have been laughable, considering that leading marine reef scientists said that the total catch from the Great Barrier Reef was just 17 kg per square kilometre annually compared to averages of about 7,700 kg per square kilometre from many other Pacific Ocean reefs, except that this dysfunctional government caved in and did exactly what they were told.

These same lobbyists are determined to close down Australias coal industry with the spurious argument that carrying coal in Barrier Reef waters will somehow do more damage to the Reef than carrying any other cargo.

Such a claim fails the common sense test but it would seem that common sense is in very short supply these days, both in the Gillard government and in the bureaucracy of UNESCO.

Senator Macdonald said that the attempted destruction of the Australian coal industry was simply a by-product of a campaign to massively reduce the export of coal to India and China in order to cut carbon dioxide emissions.

These groups have no interest in people whose lives and livelihoods they threaten, they pursue their own agenda with dogged persistence and, sadly, the Gillard government and UNESCO are taken in by them.

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